The Bergson Group, Capitol Hill

Part 6) of The Bergson Group, A History in Photographs

The Bergson Group undertook the first sustained, serious effort to lobby in Washington for Jewish concerns. Bergson and his chief Washington representatives, Baruch Rabinowitz and Maurice Rosenblatt, met frequently with Members of Congress from both parties, as well as officials of the State, Treasury, and War departments. Bergson was also able to secure meetings with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on three occasions, but his requests for a meeting with the president were rebuffed.

Bergson Group leaders conferring with Congressional supporters in 1944. L to R; Sen. Guy Gillette, Rep. Will Rogers, Jr., Bergson, Eri Jabotinsky.
Bergson speaking with U.S. Rep. Emanuel Celler at a Bergson Group event in New York City, 1944.
L to R: Sen. Guy Gillette presenting a citation to fellow-congressmembers for their support of the Bergson Group’s campaigns. L to R: Sen. Warren Magnuson, Sen. Francis Myers, Rep. William Bennett, Rep. Andrew Somers, Sen. Guy Gillette.
Senator Elbert Thomas (D-Utah) played a key role in facilitating the passage of the Gillette-Rogers rescue resolution by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A featured speaker at the Bergson Group’s Second Emergency Conference to Save the Jewish People of Europe (August 1944), Thomas found himself at the center of controversy when CBS Radio censored portions of his keynote address because of his criticism of British policy in Palestine.
Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes served as co-chairman of the Washington, D.C. division of the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe. Rabbi Stephen Wise, leader of the American Zionist Emergency Council and American Jewish Congress, tried unsuccessfully in 1943 to persuade Ickes to resign from the committee.


The Bergson Group’s national chairman, Sen. Edwin Johnson.
Rep. Sol Bloom, a leading opponent of the Bergson Group’s rescue resolution, conferring with supporters of the bill in between sessions of his hearings on the measure. L to R: Publisher William B. Ziff; American Labor Party leader Dean Alfange; Bloom; Herbert S. Moore of Transnational News; and Rep. Joseph Baldwin, a co-sponsor of the resolution.


Rep. Andrew Somers
The former Iranian Embassy, in Washington, D.C., which the Bergson Group purchased in 1944 and used as its headquarters, renaming it the Hebrew Embassy.


The Bergson Group
Part 1)          A History in Photographs
Part 2)          Leadership
Part 3)          We Will Never Die
Part 4)          Emergency Conference
Part 5)          Rabbis March
Part 6)          Capitol Hill
Continue to A Flag is Born »
Part 8)          Voyage of the Ben Hecht